Lanier asks: “Why now? Why film? Why global? Why Othello?”
Douglas Lanier, professor of English, delivered the college’s Lindberg Lecture, titled “Post-Racial Othello,” on April 29. A video of that lecture is now available here.
Professor Lanier’s lecture focuses on the direction that global film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Othello has taken in the past five years, a direction that decidedly downplays issues of race (the subject traditionally most closely associated with Othello) and plays up other issues of identity politics—class, gender, sexuality, cosmopolitanism, religion, and the like. Professor Lanier surveys several films from around the globe that adapt Othello and ends with some speculations about why this “post-racialization” of Othello is so closely related to the globalization of Shakespeare’s adaptation to film.
Professor Lanier is recognized as one of the foundational scholars in the field of Shakespeare and performance. Most recently, he has looked at the role of Shakespeare, both man and work, in modern popular culture. His 2002 publication, Shakespeare in Modern Popular Culture, has been identified twice as a best-selling academic trade book.
The Lindberg Lecture is delivered by the winner of the Lindberg Award, the highest award of the College of Liberal Arts, given annually to an outstanding teacher and scholar in the college.
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